Proof:
Suppose
A
is ﬁnite. Then

A

=

S
n

for some
n
, and so

A

<

S
n
+1

.This proves the “if” direction. On the other hand, if
A
is inﬁnite, we have

N
 ≤ 
A

and so

S
n
 ≤ 
A

for all
n
.
2
Thus an inﬁnite set is larger than any ﬁnite set.
Theorem 1.6
If
A
is an inﬁnite set and
B
is a ﬁnite subset of
A
, then

A
\
B

=

A

.
Proof:
It is enough to prove the case when
B
is a singleton:
B
=
{
b
}
. Since
A
is inﬁnite, it has a subset
N
with the same cardinality as
N
and we can assume
N
=
{
b
1
=
b,b
2
,b
3
,...
}
. Now deﬁne a bijection
g
:
A
→
A
\
B
by
g
(
a
) =
b
n
+1
a
=
b
n
a a
∈
B
2
2 Countable Sets
Deﬁnition 2.1
A set
A
is called
countably inﬁnite
if

A

=

N

. We denoteits cardinality by
ℵ
0
(pronounced ‘AlephNought’).
We have seen that
n <
ℵ
0
for every
n
= 0
,
1
,
2
,...
and that
ℵ
0
≤ 
A

forevery inﬁnite set
A
.
Deﬁnition 2.2
A set is called
countable
if it is either ﬁnite or countably inﬁnite.
Example 2.3
We have seen earlier that
N
\{
1
}
and 2
N
have the same cardinalityas
N
– hence they are countably inﬁnite. The set of integers
Z
is also countablyinﬁnite: Consider
g
:
N
→
Z
deﬁned by
g
(
n
) =
n
2
n
even
−
n
−
12
n
oddThis is a bijection.
2
Exercise 2.4
If
A
and
B
are countable, so is
A
∪
B
.
Exercise 2.5
If
A
1
,...,A
n
are countable, so is
∪
ni
=1
A
i
.
Example 2.6
A rather startling example of a countably inﬁnite set is
N
×
N
.On the face of it, it looks much larger than
N
as it contains inﬁnitely many copiesof
N
. Nevertheless, we have

N
×
N

=

N

. We ﬁrst present the proof pictorially.2